Saturday, 28 December 2013


It was hot today at Hamby Home(in)stead - all day, which was unusual!  The chookies had a lot more shade than in their previous location but were looking in need of a cool-down this evening.

Erin collected the girls and gave each of them a splash-down in the laundry tub. Judge Judy wasn't overly keen on being wet but Jo settled into the bathing routine quite happily!

New outlook for the New Year!

It's not quite the New Year but the chookies are enjoying a new view from their Fox-proof Fowl Fort (FpFF)!

Nick and Erin moved the girls' quarters today, so their fence now surrounds a tree in front of our house. 

We're hoping the new shady location is cooler for the chookies on our hotter days - or hottish parts of our usual varied-weather days!
The operation took several hours this morning. Previously Elmer has been used to tow the Fort into a new position but this time the fence was broken down into two-panel sections and carried across. 

The garden trolley was used to wheel the chook-house along but seemingly would only manage one fence panel at a time - and we had limited cable ties on-hand for rejoining the Fort afterward.  Once all was secure, the girls were ushered back home!

Putting the wind up our cow!

We received kites for Christmas and they have provided lots of amusement - for us and the cow(s)!  Although I took photos of Tea watching Erin and Vaughan yesterday afternoon, it seems some of the more distant cows were also intrigued by the antics!

Tea closely supervised the goings-on, though wasn't greatly keen on the flying things landing too close to her fence!

Moo-ry Christmas!

We very much enjoyed our first Christmas at Hamby Home(in)stead!

As some of you know, Tea featured on our Christmas cards. She starred on our festive t-shirts also, which we wore for our annual Santa photo. We've worn the shirts at other times also, with good effect and appreciation!

Sadly, kid-sized t-shirts were only available in white. Yep, the Young Master often looks like an OMO ad extra!

Tea's been a good cow lately, so didn't receive an electric fence from Santa.  Erin gave her a carrot and some beetroot tops for Christmas lunch but it seems vegies are far more appealing when plucked from the garden, on the sly! 

The chookies were far more appreciative of their Christmas goodies - particularly a large piece of watermelon, which was reduced to the barest amount of rind over a few hours! 

Moo-ry Christmas from us to you and our very best wishes for an absolutely bovine, er divine, New Year!

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Watering the cow ...

There are no outside taps at Hamby Home(in)stead, so filling Tea's bath involves a bit of effort.  The taller, white bucket is generally filled in the laundry (at the back of the house) and then carried from there to the front paddock. 

Several trips are necessary.  Carrying water is heavy work, usually Nick's job but he isn't always available. 

I enlisted Vaughan's aid the other day and we loaded the garden trolley with three buckets, filled them and then walked very, very slowly - pulling the cart behind us.  We slopped a little bit of water but even making several trips, it was a much easier job than carrying buckets one at a time.  I introduced Erin to the water cart method today.  She's a covert!

Nick and I spoke to our landlady last week.  She is agreeable to running an irrigation pipe to fill a shared water trough, placed under the fence between the front of Tea's paddock and the larger paddock that is part of the main property.  Nick will need to dig trenches for the pipe and do various other work in preparation.  It won't happen overnight - but it will happen. 

Of course when Tea starts using an alternative water supply, she will no longer require her bath.  I love the roofless bath-houses at Yowah and suggested to Nick we might be able to rig something similar here, albeit even more rustic!

Another good chook ...

When Chicken Pooh died recently, Vaughan commented that Princess Fiona would miss her as they spent a lot of time together. 

There may have been some truth to Vaughan's observation.  Fiona died today.  It was a hot day, so the heat may have impacted but Erin believes the Princess hasn't been quite herself since Pooh's death. 

Our remaining two chookies, Judge Judy and Jo, were feeling the heat this afternoon.  Erin and Vaughan gave them a shower with a watering can - and then later brought each of the girls in for a bath in the laundry sink.  There was much giggling, splashing and cries of "this isn't working" during the exercise.  It seemed to work though, chooks and chook-handlers were definitely wetter and cooler some short time later!  At the end of their spa, the girls were carried back to their enclosure.  They regarded Erin warily when she later checked on them, no doubt worried they might be hauled in for another bath!

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

First harvests ...

I picked a few silverbeet leaves from our garden around the middle of November - and used them together with some home-made labna to make gozleme for lunch one day. 

There hasn't been much action in the garden since, despite my regular checking.  I went out yesterday though and called Vaughan to see how much our plants had grown, after the recent rain!

The silverbeet had really taken off, so I cut a large bunch and used a generous amount in our dinner.  There were many holey leaves, so the chookies dined well on those!

Vaughan was keen to pull a few carrots.  He quite likes their twisted forms and took some in his lunchbox today.  He didn't actually eat them till this afternoon but they must have been good, cos now they are gone!